As well as drawing our praise for its great handling, the K-7 grabbed our attention with some really unusual capabilities, many of which have since mirrored by competitors, although a couple--including automatic horizon leveling and composition adjustment--are still unique. The Pentax K5 replaces that camera, leaving it with some pretty mighty shoes to fill.
The K-5 retains its predecessor's body design almost unchanged, but brings a wide variety of changes throughout the rest of the design. Key among these is the K5's new 16 megapixel image sensor, believed to be a Sony chip closely related to that in Nikon's D7000. Coupled with Pentax's PRIME II image processor, this allows full-resolution shooting at up to an unusually high ISO 51,200 equivalent, as well as Full HD (1,080p) movie capture, and a manufacturer-claimed seven frames-per-second burst shooting mode.
The K5 also updates the K-7's autofocus system, provides an unusually fine degree of control over high ISO noise reduction, adds the ability to disable long exposure noise reduction altogether, adds a second axis to the electronic level gauge, and incorporates a wide number of tweaks and additions to the user interface, including additional User modes and in-camera effects functions.
All the new features do come at a cost, though. The Pentax K5's list pricing is almost a quarter higher than that of the K7, and even when considering street pricing, there's quite a premium over its nearest competitors from the likes of Nikon and Canon. With that said, the Pentax K-5 brings in some new features that are rare to completely unique among its peers, so we went into our review with an open mind as to the K5's value proposition.
Curious to see if we ended up believing the Pentax K5 to be worthy of its pricetag? If so, you'll want to click here and read our full review of Pentax's latest flagship SLR.